Food trucks offer diversity during Cherokee holiday

BY STACIE BOSTON
Reporter – @cp_sguthrie
09/12/2017 12:00 PM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Denisse Ramos, right, and Paula Thompson prepare tacos for an order at The Kickin’ Taco food truck during the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma. Thompson, owner, is a Cherokee Nation citizen and her truck is a Tribal Employment Rights Office-certified business. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Paula Thompson shows a finished taco at The Kickin’ Taco food truck during the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma. The Kickin’ Taco can be found at the Super Spray Carwash and at W.W. Hastings Hospital during the week in Tahlequah. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A customer at Mother Tucker’s BBQ food truck adds barbeque sauce to her Mother Tucker sandwich during the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma. Mother Tucker’s can be found set up in Warner. STACIE GUTHRIE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee National Holiday brings families together to experience cultural events, Native artwork and games. It’s also a time to experience different foods as food trucks at various locations wait to serve visitors.

One food truck that made it to the 65th annual Cherokee National Holiday was The Kickin’ Taco truck, which parked at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Paula Thompson, Cherokee Nation citizen and owner, said when customers visit her food truck they are rewarded with a unique “experience.”

“We have street tacos. We have quesadillas. We have breakfast burritos, just about anything you want,” she said. “All of our sauces are homemade. Everything is cooked fresh that day. We buy our meat that morning, and we cook it the same day. Everything is hand-chopped.”

With favorites such as the Loaded Steak Tacos, Thompson said it’s “important” to be able to showcase her food and business during holiday.

“I think it’s important to showcase that I am a Cherokee, Native American woman and that success can come if you work hard enough,” she said. “I also own three other small businesses. This is my favorite because it’s fun and I am out with my community, giving back with my Native American people.”

The Kickin’ Taco, which is a CN Tribal Employment Rights Office-certified business, can be found at the Super Spray Carwash and W.W. Hastings Hospital during the week in Tahlequah.

“They can usually find us parked on Muskogee Avenue at Super Spray Carwash and then two days a week Mrs. (Denisse) Ramos, who is our cook, she goes to W.W. Hasting’s Hospital and serves there during the week for the employees,” she said.

To learn when and where The Kickin’ Taco truck will be located, visit its Facebook page or call 918-457-0246.

In the sea of Indian tacos, funnel cakes and other popular holiday foods, another food option at the CHC was Mother Tucker’s BBQ out of Warner.

Owner Albert Tucker said he was looking forward to seeing people “mingle” and eat “good food.”
“It’s a big event. A lot of good food trucks are out here, including us,” he said.

While dining from Mother Tucker’s, guests can expect different meats and ways to eat them at “good” prices.

“We have four different meats. We have pulled pork, brisket, bologna and hot links. You can have it on whatever type of platform you want. So you can have a sandwich, nacho or potato,” he said. “We do anywhere from four meats. It’s called a Super Mother Tucker, and it’s filling. You’ll probably need a blanket and a bed for after you eat it all. It’s a lot of food. It’s good prices and good quality. We try to put love in it, and just feed the people.”

Tucker said he purchased his food truck two months earlier but has competed in food competitions for at least the past four years.

“People say they love the food, so we put a price tag on it and put it out there. They love it so we keep doing it,” he said.

If visitors plan to make the trek to Warner, Tucker suggests they try the Mother Tucker.
“If you’re feeling really hungry a Mother Tucker is probably one of our best sellers,” he said. “It has smoked bologna, and it has brisket and pulled pork on it. It’s filling. It comes with a bag of chips and a drink, if you would like.”

To learn when and where Mother Tucker’s will be located, call 918-734-0638 or email kingtuck02@gmail.com.

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